Second Baptist Church in Fort Dodge is seeing the effects of an economy gone bad and a congregation growing older.
To combat this, the church will hold an emergency fund-raising service at 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at the church, with a choir of people from a wide area participating in the program and the preached word.
"Second Baptist Church has historically been a beacon of light to its community and surrounding area for more than 121 years," said the Rev. C.E. Rudison. "It has been a place of refuge for the broken and needy, a church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and taught."
The church is in "dire straits," Rudison said. "We are in need of financial assistance. God's word says there will be a great falling away, and many of the old faithful saints have crossed over that Jordan River."
Fewer active members of the congregation translates to smaller collections on Sunday morning, leaving the church without necessary funds.
"A lot of the older people who once attended there and were real faithful have passed on," Rudison said. "And some of the younger people today, not all, are kind of hard to reach."
He points to high unemployment, low wages and the fact that some people are just not supportive of the church.
Rudison said he has contacted the Interfaith Forum in Fort Dodge for help and the Iowa Missionary Baptist Convention, which offered to collect a special offering in sister churches to help Second Baptist. "They've done that in the past for others and will do the same for us."
Also, he said, he has sent letters to the congregation and others asking for help.
It's not an easy thing to do, said Rudison, whose plea is for the church.
Guest speaker at the Feb. 7 service will be the Rev. David Finell of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Ankeny.
Rudison said he's not sure what Finell will speak about, adding, "I'm inclined to think he'll bring a message pertaining to our needs."
And, Rudison said, "I might say a few words, too."
All of it boils down to the simple fact that Second Baptist Church needs financial help.
Donations may be sent to the church at 1827 Fourth Ave. S., and Rudison may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com